§ 2. Mr. Stodart
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will increase the hill sheep subsidy as a means of offsetting the low prices paid for this year's lamb crop as a result of the Government's credit restrictions.
§ Mr. Stodart
Is the right hon. Gentleman quite unaware of the various comments by authoritative sources to that effect? Is not this again a monumental example of the Minister's complete indifference to this very grave problem?
§ Mr. Peart
I am well aware of authoritative Conservative reports, or thoughts from the hon. Member, which mislead people because there are no credit difficulties in the sense described by the hon. Member. I hope that the hon. Member will have read very carefully the Bank of England's statement made only yesterday.
§ Mr. Dalyell
Is my right hon. Friend aware that Government policy is being made the excuse for many matters?
§ Mr. Mackintosh
Is my right hon. Friend aware that, while we attach no great significance to the reason given by the Opposition for this, it is one of many reasons? Will my right hon. Friend say a word of encouragement to hill sheep farmers and bear them in mind in the next Review?
§ Mr. Peart
I think I have done more in my Reviews for hill farming than did the previous Administration. At the last 433 Review we increased the hill sheep subsidy by ls. I am aware that there are problems; and we are considering them. Certainly I will note these when we have discussions with the Union at the next Review.